The Dutch East India Company's Eighteenth-Century Workforce: an Enriched Data Collection

Lodewijk Petram*, Marijn Koolen, Melvin Wevers, Rutger Koert, van, Jelle van Lottum

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Non-textual formDatabaseScientific


This is a dataset on 460,452 individuals employed by the Dutch East India Company (Verenigde Oost-Indische Compagnie, VOC) in the seventeenth and especially the eighteenth centuries, developed from 774,200 muster records in the ‘VOC-opvarenden’ collection. The original data has been enhanced through the disambiguation of individual records, the standardization of 44,152 unique place names, and the addition of wage details and rank structure.

This collection includes the original ‘VOC-opvarenden’ dataset (comprising three files), enriched files (totaling nine), integrated external data, and Jupyter notebooks documenting the transformation from original to enriched datasets. The accompanying data paper provides an in-depth overview of the original dataset, the enhancement process, and potential applications. Additionally, it features appendices serving as codebooks, offering concise descriptions of each variable present in the enriched data files.

Enabling research into career patterns, network structures, and migration trends, this resource is of significant value to the study of early modern history, social and economic history, and sociology.
Original languageEnglish
Media of outputOnline
Size500 MB
Publication statusPublished - 12 Feb 2024


  • Early Modern History
  • Maritime History
  • Social and Economic History
  • Dutch East India Company (VOC)


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